Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 12/12/14

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Some of the best learning happens when you read stories about real people and real companies. Read them for ideas, for lessons, and inspiration. This week’s stories and strategies from real life are about McDonald’s, Thermal Bags by Ingrid, Tock, Davis Family Holdings, and L.L. Bean.

From Julie Jargon: McDonald’s Menu Problem: It’s Supersized

“The fast-food giant has added oatmeal, snack wraps and lattes to its U.S. offerings in recent years to appeal to a wider swath of customers. But swelling menus have made the company’s kitchen operations increasingly complex. Its McCafé drinks, for example, require a separate station behind the counter equipped with coffee grinders and blenders, causing longer waits. As a result, some customers have started going elsewhere for their fast-food fix.”

From Wailin Wong: Life of Pie

“Ingrid Kosar always dreamed about running her own business. She didn’t know what kind of company it would be, but she liked to picture herself carrying a little briefcase. As it turns out, a very different kind of bag would define her career. It’s a bag that appears on doorsteps millions of times a week for Friday family movie nights and college study sessions. It’s the insulated pizza delivery bag, and Ingrid Kosar invented it.”

From Teresa Novellino: Tock launches nationwide to let restaurants sell tickets for reservations

“One of the challenges of running a restaurant is no-shows, but now some high-end restaurateurs and software investors want businesses to avoid that liability with an increasingly popular software system called Tock, devised by a couple of restaurant owners in Chicago.”

From David Phelps: From cows to quartz, Davis family cuts a wide business swath

“On a wall at Jake’s Pizza in downtown St. Peter is a photo of the town’s 1981 Class A high school football champions. Wearing No. 10 for the St. Peter Saints is defensive back Marty Davis. Wearing No. 22 is his older brother Mitch, the team’s fullback. Fast forward 33 years and the two brothers are still teammates, only the stakes are considerably higher as they lead the third generation of one of Minnesota’s most successful business families.”

From SFGate: L.L. Bean struggles to meet demand for boots

“Whether it’s ‘lumberjack chic’ or old-school utility, demand for L.L. Bean boots is climbing — so much so that some customers will have to wait until February to get their holiday purchases.”

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